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  • The Laser/Easter Edition 2011

    The Real Meaning of Easter The Real Meaning of Easter The Real Meaning of Easter

    Writ ten f

    or th e chi

    ldren

    by th e chi

    ldren !

    The Laser/Easter Edition 2011

    Continued on page 2

    by: Poppy Trevithick, Yr2/ Gabri-

    el Cadogan,Yr3/ Sydney Lai, Yr4

    There is a real meaning to

    Easter that many Christians

    believe to be the most im-

    portant event on the Chris-

    tian calendar. Customs, such

    as the Easter bunny and

    Easter egg hunts, have be-

    come part of the holiday's

    modern celebrations and are

    often observed by Christians

    and non-Christians alike; so

    even if you‟re not Christian

    you may still want to know a

    bit more about this festival

    and how people celebrate it

    and what it‟s all about. Read

    on to find out more.

    At Easter time Christians

    remember the last week of

    Jesus' life also known as the

    'Holy Week'. It signals the

    end of Lent, the traditional

    time of fasting in the Chris-

    tian calendar, and starts with

    Palm Sunday, going through

    Maundy Thursday, Good Fri-

    day and ending in Easter

    Sunday when we gather with

    family and friends to share a

    meal and eat chocolate.

    Easter is always on a Sunday

    regardless of the fact that

    it has a moveable date which

    varies from year to year be-

    cause it is based on the lunar

    calendar. It is celebrated on

    the first Sunday after the

    full moon (also the first day

    of Spring), on or after March

    21st.

    The name Easter originally

    came from Esostre who was

    the Anglo-Saxon goddess

    worshipped in Spring. It is

    thought that this goddess

    saved a bird whose wings

    were frozen by turning it in-

    to a magic hare that could

    lay eggs cementing her sta-

    tus as the goddess of new

    life and fertility.

    Eostre is not connected in

    any way to the religious story

    of the resurrection celebrat-

    ed by Christians on Easter

    Sunday and that is why a lot

    of people believe that East-

    er‟s name should be changed

    to distance it from its pagan

    naming.

    Pagan traditions give us the

    English word "Easter" which

    comes from the word

    "Eostre". The Anglo-Saxon

    word for April was "Eostre-

    monath" (the month of open-

    ings). However, it should be

    remembered that Christians

    celebrated the resurrection

    of Christ long before the

    word "Easter" was used, and

    the word they used for the

    celebration was "Pascha",

    which is derived from and

    linked to the Jewish festival

    of Passover.

    According to Bede, the Eng-

    lish monastic historian, the

    English word Easter comes

    from the Anglo-Saxon name

    for the month of April, which

    was known as "Eostremonath"

    in the Anglo-Saxon tongue

    and since Pascha was most

    http://www.bedesworld.co.uk/academic-bede.php http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/Homework/saxons/who.htm http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/year/april.htm

  • often celebrated in Eostre-

    monath, the English Chris-

    tians began calling it

    "Easter".

    Palm Sunday

    Palm Sunday commemorates

    Christ‟s arrival

    in Jerusalem. In

    the bible it is

    said that when

    Jesus entered

    Jerusalem on

    his donkey,

    the crowds

    laid palm branches at his

    feet. So these days in many

    churches, during Palm Sunday

    services, large palm branches

    are carried in processions in

    remembrance of that day.

    Maundy Thursday

    This is the Thursday before

    Good Friday. It commemo-

    rates the last supper that

    Jesus had with his disciples.

    Derived from the Latin word

    “ m a n d a t u m ” , m e a n i n g

    "commandment," Maundy re-

    fers to the commands Jesus

    gave his disciples at the Last

    Supper: to love with humility

    by serving one another and to

    remember his sacrifice.

    The real meaning of Easter cont’d

    The Laser/Easter Edition 2011 Page 2

    on Good Friday. Many go to Church

    on that day to give thanks to God

    for saving Jesus. Church bells are

    rung and flowers are hung in cele-

    bration. Families get together to

    celebrate and children enjoy East-

    er hunts, coloured Easter eggs and

    chocolate bunnies.

    The origins of Easter

    traditions

    This bunny is sometimes

    known as the Spring Bunny in

    the US. It is believed to bring

    baskets filled with coloured

    eggs, candy and toys to chil-

    dren the night before Easter.

    The eggs are usually hidden

    around the garden for the

    children to find the next day

    when they wake up. Rabbits

    are also a reminder of Spring

    Continued on page 3

    Cont’d from page 1

    Good Friday

    Good Friday commemorates the

    day that Jesus Christ was killed

    on the cross. Good Friday is a sad

    day when churches do not deco-

    rate with flowers and there is a

    sombre meditative mood. Some

    Christians believe that on Good

    Friday after Jesus Christ was

    executed his body was taken

    down from the cross, and buried

    in a cave. The tomb was guarded

    and an enormous stone was put

    over the entrance, so that no-one

    could steal the body.

    On the following Sunday, some

    women visited the grave and

    found that the stone had been

    moved and the tomb was empty.

    Jesus himself was seen that day,

    and for days afterwards by many

    people. His followers realised

    that God had raised Jesus from

    the dead.

    Easter Sunday

    This is a happy day for Christians

    because they be-

    lieve that it is the

    day that Jesus rose

    from the dead af-

    ter being crucified

    The Easter Bunny

  • The Laser/Easter Edition 2011 Page 3

    The real meaning of Easter cont’d

    and new life.

    Eggs have always been a sign

    of fertility in history.

    The first eggs to be given as

    gifts in the UK were hen, duck

    or goose eggs. Later they

    were replaced by artificial

    eggs. Chocolate eggs only ap-

    peared in the late 1800s.

    The tradition of colouring

    Easter eggs dates back to the

    Middle ages when people

    would paint the eggs differ-

    ent bright colours to symbol-

    ize the start of the Spring

    season.

    Easter Eggs

    Buns marked with a cross

    were eaten by the Saxons

    during their spring celebra-

    tions - it's believed that the

    bun represented the moon and

    the cross the moon's quar-

    ters. Christians continued the

    tradition but to them the

    cross symbolises Jesus' cruci-

    fixion.

    This cake is eaten at Easter

    and particularly on Mothering

    Sunday which falls on the

    fourth Sunday of Lent. It is

    believed that in the past girls

    working as domestic help were

    given the day off to visit

    their mothers. They would

    usually take a simnel cake

    back with them as a present.

    This cake is particularly asso-

    ciated with Mothering Sunday

    and is traditionally a fruit

    cake with two layers of al-

    mond paste, its top is deco-

    rated with 11 marzipan balls

    to symbolise the faithful dis-

    Hot Cross Buns

    ciples (Judas is therefore

    left out).

    Good to Know !!!

     In Greece, lamb is the

    traditional food at Easter.

    In Poland, they eat sau-

    sages and poppy seed

    cake; the poppy seeds are

    a symbol of new life.

     The celebration of the

    Jewish festival of Passo-

    ver, which commemorates

    the exodus of the Jews

    from captivity in Egypt,

    has been intertwined with

    Easter from the begin-

    ning and the Hebrew

    word „Pesach‟, originally

    meaning Passover, came

    to mean Easter as well.

     In Poland, Easter Monday

    is known as “Wet Mon-

    day”. This is because of

    the practice of going to

    people‟s homes and the

    boys would throw water

    on the girls that they

    fancied.

    Simnel Cake

    Cont’d from page 2

    Why not try our Simnel cake

    recipe this Easter? The recipe

    can be found in our RECIPES

    section.

  • Cont’d from page 3

    The real meaning of Easter cont’d

    The tradition of painting eggs and using them

    as decorations or gifts is not common in the UK

    as it is in some other European countries or in

    the United States, but it is becoming increas-

    ingly popular in recent years. If the egg is to be

    used as a decoration the contents need to be

    removed from the